Students who are seeking EMT (emergency medical technician) training in southern California have several options. There are a variety of EMT courses available, which, in addition to preparing students for EMT certification, may also serve as prerequisite courses for students who wish to become certified paramedics. The 2-year colleges listed below also offer certificate and associate's degree programs. Certifications in basic life support or cardiopulmonary resuscitation may be required for admission, depending on the program. Students put in clinical hours and learn hands-on skills in simulation labs. A clinical internship might be included in the curricula. Programs exist in the following areas:
- Emergency Medical Services
- Emergency Medical Technician
- Paramedical Technician
- Fire and Emergency Technology
This article highlights ten of the largest programs in the Southern California area, each of which has been approved by the California Emergency Medical Services Authority.
Allan Hancock College
In Santa Maria, Allan Hancock College is home to one of the only community college Emergency Medical Services (EMS) simulation labs in California. For students wishing to pursue EMT certification, Allan Hancock College offers the Certificate of Accomplishment in EMS - Emergency Medical Technician (Basic). This program includes a .5-credit course in CPR for health care providers and a 6-credit lab and lecture course covering the basic facets of emergency care, plus the clinical hours required for the NREMT exam. Allan Hancock also offers an EMT refresher course and additional paramedic and EMS certificate and associate degree options.
Crafton Hills College
Located in Yucaipa, Crafton Hills College offers an Emergency Medical Technician-I/EMT - Basic Certificate. This 7.5-unit certificate program is comprised of a 6-unit class covering basic EMT skills and 3 half-unit courses covering basic life support, preventing disease transmission, and hazardous materials awareness for EMTs. Along with emphasizing the treatment and transport of patients, this program also educates students about breathing aids, administering medications, and evaluating emergencies. Students must maintain an 80% or above in coursework to earn this certificate. Crafton Hills also offers an EMT-Paramedic certificate program and an EMS associate's degree program.
East Los Angeles College
In Monterey Park, East Los Angeles College offers an 8-credit hour EMT Skills Certificate. Applicants must have certification in Basic Life Support for the Healthcare Provider, as issued by the American Heart Association. Program coursework is divided into 6.5 credit hours of lecture and 1.5 credit hours of lab work designed to advance students' understanding of the theory and techniques of emergency medical care.
El Camino Community College District
While El Camino Community College District, in Torrance, does not offer a stand-alone EMT training option, it does offer both certificate and associate degree options that include EMT training. In the fire and emergency technology programs, two required courses prepare students for the NREMT exam. These courses cover the assessment, treatment, rescue, and transport skills required for caring for ill or injured patients in the pre-hospital setting. For students wishing to pursue paramedic certification, the programs at El Camino require applicants to have EMT certification and a minimum of six months experience working as EMTs.
Moreno Valley College
In Moreno Valley, Moreno Valley College offers an EMT certificate program designed to combine hands-on experience with lecture material covering emergency medical skills and techniques. Students must have current Healthcare Provider-level CPR certification. The training program is comprised of two courses taken concurrently: a 6-unit lecture/lab course with 96 classroom hours and 64 lab hours, and a 1-unit clinical practice course that provides students with pre-hospital care experiences in a variety of settings. MVC also offers both a paramedic certificate and associate's degree program, each of which requires applicants to have a year of experience as an EMT.
Mt. San Antonio College
Located in Walnut, Mt. San Antonio College offers a Certificate in Emergency Medical Technician - Level I. This program, which is designed to provide students with emergency care skills and training, can also serve as the initial training course for those interested in becoming paramedics or firefighters. The program is approved by the Los Angeles County and State Departments of Health. The college also offers a Certificate in Emergency Medical Technician - Paramedic, as well as a refresher course for students who are seeking to extend their certification.
Orange Coast College
Orange Coast College, in Costa Mesa, offers a Certificate of Specialization in Emergency Medical Services. In this program, students must complete a lecture and lab course emphasizing patient transport and movement and the treatment of injuries and obstetrical and pediatric emergencies. Additionally, students take a clinical internship course that provides them with hands-on experience in differing settings. Students looking to pursue this degree must have valid Healthcare Provider CPR certification prior to enrollment.
Located in Mission Viejo, Saddleback College offers an EMT Occupational Skills Award. This program focuses on developing students' abilities to provide patients with care both prior to and within the hospital setting. In addition to recognizing injuries and utilizing medical devices, students will learn how to assess vital signs, provide airway management, and provide support in regards to bleeding, shock, and extremity and spine immobilization. The college also offers a Certificate in Paramedic. Applicants to the programs at Saddleback are required to pass both a physical exam and a background check.
Ventura College, in Ventura, offers a Certificate in Emergency Medical Technology. This certificate program is designed to prepare students for careers with fire departments, hospitals and private ambulance companies. In this program, students learn life support techniques, patient management, and the proper use of emergency medical care equipment. As a prerequisite to this program, students must possess health care provider or professional rescuer CPR certification.
Victor Valley College
Located in Victorville, Victor Valley College offers an EMT Certificate. This program is designed to educate students in recognizing and treating illnesses and traumatic injuries in the pre-hospital setting. Along with 100 hours of classroom lectures, students are required to complete 36 hours of lab instruction and 32 hours in a field or clinical internship. The certificate is offered as a 16-week program in the fall and spring semesters as well as an 8-week program in the summer semester. Prior to admittance, students must earn healthcare provider CPR certification and are encouraged to complete courses anatomy, physiology, biology, and chemistry.
To become certified to work as an EMT in California, candidates must be 18, complete an approved training program, and pass the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) exam.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type & Setting||EMT Training Programs Offered|| Undergraduate Tuition & Fees
|Allan Hancock College||2-year, public; small city||Certificate of Achievement in EMS - Emergency Medical Technician (Basic)|| $1,352 in-state
|Crafton Hills College||2-year, public; rural||Emergency Medical Technician-I/EMT - Basic Certificate|| $1,144 in-state
|East Los Angeles College||2-year, public; small city||Skills Certificate in Emergency Medical Technician|| $1,220 in-state
|El Camino Community College District||2-year, public; large suburb|| Certificate of Achievement in Fire and Emergency Technology,
Associate in Science in Paramedical Technician,
Associate in Science in Fire and Emergency Technology
| $1,144 in-state
|Moreno Valley College||2-year, public; large suburb|| Certificate in Emergency Medical Technician,
Certificate in Paramedic ,
Associate in Science in Paramedic
| $1,420 in-state
|Mt. San Antonio College||2-year, public; large suburb|| Certificate in Emergency Medical Technician,
Certificate in Emergency Medical Technician - Paramedic
| $1,350 in-state
|Orange Coast College||2-year, public; mid-size city||Certificate of Specialization in Emergency Medical Services|| $1,186 in-state
|Saddleback College||2-year, public; large suburb|| Occupational Skills Award in Emergency Medical Technician,
Certificate in Paramedic
| $1,328 in-state
|Ventura College||2-year, public; mid-size city||Certificate in Emergency Medical Technology|| $1,388 in-state
|Victor Valley College||2-year, public; mid-size city||Emergency Medical Technician Certificate|| $1,126 in-state
Source: *NCES College Navigator